This year, for the first time since 1976, the economy will grow in
virtually every corner of the globe. Name a country, and economists predict
solid gains in the gross domestic product in 1995. In Europe, Germany and France
are both expected to grow by 3%, while Great Britain is forecast to be up 4%. In
North America, the United States and Canada will grow by more than 3%. Brazil
and Chile will be up 6%, and Argentina 4.5%. The outlook is even brighter in
Asia, where China's surging economy should advance 9.5%, while South Korea will
grow nearly 8%. Even Japan, still recovering from a tragic earthquake, will see
its economy climb by 3%.
Helping to ensure more economic progress in the years ahead is a whole series of vital economic agreements. The European Community is welcoming new nations to its fold and encouraging a broader exchange of goods and services. The North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has created similar benefits for the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Meanwhile, nations everywhere will gain from the successful conclusion of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Never before in history has the world enjoyed a greater and freer climate for trade. With the enormous productivity gains of recent years, U.S. companies in particular can savor their best export opportunities of the postwar period.
In this healthy global economy, engineers everywhere will be challenged to design truly world-class products. They will be able to specify the best materials, components, and systems from suppliers all around the world. Engineers will travel more and learn about a wider range of technologies. Increasingly, they will work together with engineers from other companies and countries in technical alliances. What's more, their jobs will be made more productive by new and better computer tools. In short, as the world economy grows in the balance of the '90s, engineers will grow right along with it.
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.